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The Light Heavyweight Picture

The Light Heavyweight division emerged from UFC 84 with more clarity than before, but still very muddled.  Simply put, there is nobody right now who deserves an immediate title shot against the winner of Rampage and Forrest.  The top half of the contenders includes Wand, Thiago, Machida, Shogun, Liddell, and Rashad Evans.  Both Chuck and Shogun are expected to return in September, which is right around the time all the guys who just fought should begin fighting again.  There's also the possibility of Rich Franklin moving to 205, which is very likely in my view considering the place he is in right now at 185.

What matchups do Bloody Elbow readers want to see next?  Here are my picks (and why)

Chuck Liddell v. Shogun Rua:  This fight was supposed to go down in June, it's a fight we've wanted to see for years, and it should be explosive.  Plus, either guy fighting Rampage is a great PPV main event.

Rich Franklin v. Lyoto Machida:  I think it's time for a rematch here.  I suspect Lyoto wins this, though I think Rich has the ability to make it close.  The story to build the fight is obvious, and it will help to get Machida over more to beat Ortiz and Franklin.

Wanderlei Silva v. Rashad Evans:  I've been waiting to see Rashad get KTFO for a long time and this is the fight.  He's not big enough to hold Wand down the entire fight, especially with Wand now training at Xtreme Couture.  It's an interesting styles fight and it will give Wand the opportunity to kill another man.  Plus, given the friendship of Rashad and Jardine, they have an interesting angle to hype it up from.

Thiago Silva v. Sokoudjou:  Sok lost to Machida, sure, but so will almost everybody else.  He just KO'ed Nakamura, which Shogun and Machida both failed to do.  I think he has a very bright UFC future, and suspect he can take this one.

What do you guys want to see?


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